23.11.2017

A typical timeline for the PhD project

Below you can find an example of the timeline for PhD project which gives you an overall idea about completing PhD degree in 4 years. Therefore, please do not copy-paste the example below to your application. For the application, you should personalize the plan to meet your own goals, list studies in a study plan (i.e. code, the name of the course, schedule), and give the schedule of research in a research plan. See more the guidelines of the study plan and the research plan.

Start planning by counting back from the desired graduation date and break every year into small milestones. Be realistic. The time it takes to write a manuscript, especially the first one, and thesis is usually much longer than anticipated. Therefore start writing as early as possible. Take into account holidays which can affect, for example, thesis examinations process. It is recommended that you invest the last year of your doctoral training solely for writing the manuscripts and thesis. Note also that the plan may change during the course of your PhD and therefore your plan should allow some flexibility.

MORE TIPS FOR PLANNING

Marino J., Stefan M.I. & Blackford S. 2014. Ten simple rules for finishing your PhD. PLoS Comput. Biol. 10(12): e1003954

YEAR 1

YEAR 2

  • Conducting research and writing
  • The first manuscript submitted
  • The first poster/oral presentation at a scientific conference
  • Postgraduate studies (xx ECTS)
  • Post Graduate Seminar: listening to talks by fellow doctoral students
  • Research Seminar
  • Annual follow-up group meeting

YEAR 3

  • Conducting research and writing
  • Data collection completed by the end of 3rd year
  • At least one manuscript accepted for publication
  • The majority of manuscripts to be included in the thesis is ready
  • Post Graduate Seminar: listening to talks by fellow doctoral students
  • Research Seminar
  • Postgraduate studies (min 30 ECTS) completed by the end of 3rd year except Research Seminar and Post Graduate Seminar
  • Annual follow-up group meeting

YEAR 4

  • Annual follow-up group meeting if the date and the name of the opponent have not been decided before the deadline for the report submission
  • Finalizing manuscripts
  • A plan for the dissertation date at least 6 months before the dissertation (More information)
  • Writing the thesis. The thesis manuscript needs to be ready at least 3.5 months before the desired date of the public defence.
  • Research Seminar
  • Post Graduate Seminar: listening to talks by fellow doctoral students
  • A talk at Post Graduate Seminar
  • Preliminary examination of the dissertation
  • Public examination of the dissertation
  • Graduation